Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday (October 20) and said that is not the time to take the Covid-19 pandemic lightly during the upcoming festive season.
In his 12-minute-long address to the nation, PM Modi asked people to be careful as COVID-19 has not ended, adding that "lockdown may have ended but the virus is still there". "If you are careless and moving around without mask, you are putting yourself, children, and the elderly at risk. This is not time to be careless or to believe that COVID-19 has ended. We must keep in mind that lockdown may have ended but the virus is still there," said PM Modi.
During his speech, PM Modi also folded his hands to impress upon people to take precautions like wearing masks, sanitising their hands and maintaining social distance in order to curb the spread of coornavirus during festive season.
Here are some reasons why Indians should not take PM Modi’s warning lightly:
1. Lessons to learn from Kerala’s Onam spike
Kerala, which had initially done well to contain the spread of Covid-19, witnessed a massive surge in Covid-19 cases after Onam celebrations in August.
Despite this, states across the country are not showing any interest in strict restrictions and stop people from venturing out during the peak holiday season which includes the ongoing Navratri festival, upcoming Durga Puja and Diwali in November.
2. 50% of the Indian population likely to be infected by Feb 2021, warns government panel
Experts have warned that around 50% of Indians would be infected with Covid-19 by February 2021.
“Our mathematical model estimates that around 30 per cent of the population is currently infected and it could go up to 50 per cent by February,” a government panel official had said.
3. Things can get worse faster than they are getting better
It is to be noted that India recorded the highest number of daily cases in the world for more than two months after the number of infections started dropping few days ago. The US has once again reclaimed the top spot when it comes to daily coronavirus cases.
“We must remember, whether it is America or Europe, cases declined and then there was sudden spike,” said PM Modi in his speech.
4. Covid-19 vaccine is yet to hit the market
PM Modi urged people to remain careful and not show negligence until a COVID-19 vaccine is found.
Scientists across the globe are trying their best to develop a vaccine, and scientists in India have also been working hard in this regard. The prime minister said in his address that a vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian.
“We all must remember, there can be no laxity till a cure is found (Jab tak dawai nahin, tab tak dhilai nahin),” PM Modi said.
5. Winter can make things worse
According to experts, fatalities due to COVID-19 could spike as air pollution during winter may worsen the breathing difficulties that many Covid-19 patients suffer.